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FRIDAY

My little brother, bless his felonious, curly-headed soul, owns some bad music. Still, despite his lack of discretion, our common blood means that his approval of a band I like means more to me than that of any hip tastemaker. Thus, among the proudest moments of my year was the one where the Li’l Pubehead got hooked on the Drive-By Truckers. But even better was the news that the Truckers were a hit when he played them for stock slack-jaweds at a gen-yoo-wine Arkansas fish fry. (For the uninformed, that’s where real rednecks in nonironic trucker hats cook catfish, drink kegs of Bud, and debate the merits of SEC football teams.) Ain’t gonna hear no Fiery Furnaces or Shins blessed by fish fryers, are ya, Captain Coolbreeze? It was a relief: As much as I love the Truckers—for whom I feel as the Oak Ridge Boys felt for Elvira—I’ve always worried that their main appeal is to those pasty rock writers who are too timid to actually listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd or David Allan Coe. Because, unlike those acts, the Truckers have taken great pains to avoid appearing like Confederate-flag–waving crackers. (Guitarist and singer Patterson Hood refers to it as struggling with “the duality of the Southern thing.”) But the band’s latest, The Dirty South, is as below–the–Mason-Dixon–line gritty as their last one, Decoration Day, was bleak. This time around, Hood & Co.’s subjects are straight from a hicksploitation flick: alcoholics, dirt-track stock cars, suicidal rubes, and rural drug dealers. Hell, they even have three songs about stick-wielding Sheriff Buford Pusser, who inspired the first three Walking Tall movies. Don’t miss this opportunity to get Southern-fried when the Truckers play with Allison Moorer at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (David Dunlap Jr.)